Susan Parrish, Homestay CoordinatorBC, North Saanich
When my daughter’s Japanese sister school brought a group of students to Victoria we had no idea this would become a lifelong journey of friendships with students worldwide. I feel we are ambassadors for Victoria and share not only the many tourist attractions that students want to see but the hidden gems as well. We love hiking, gardening, cooking and walking our dogs in the beautiful parks, mountains, lakes and beaches surrounding us.
As a Dr. of Traditional Chinese Medicine I have an appreciation for Asian and Japanese cultures. My husband is a Karate instructor with a love of Japanese history so it was a natural fit for us to become involved with international students, especially those from Japan.
I am passionate about giving students the fullest experience possible. We have kept many of our homestay student’s friendships ongoing and consider each other as family. When visiting Japan, five of our past students arranged each leg of the trip so we could see as much as possible and share time with each of them. They were grateful and honored to give back to us and share their culture. That’s when it truly hit me how strong the impact was that we had made on their lives.
It is a life changing adventure and an experience that the students can’t imagine. Even the little things can have a huge impact and create life long memories. I love knowing that I can be a positive influence and share what it means to be Canadian.‹ Back